Dictionary > Hyperosmotic


1. Of, relating to, or characterized by an increased osmotic pressure (typically higher than the physiological level).
2. A condition in which the total amount of solutes (both permeable and impermeable) in a solution is greater than that of another solution.
For instance: In kidneys, the tubular fluid is:

– iso-osmotic (to plasma) when it is at the beginning of the loop of henle

– hyperosmotic (to plasma) when it is at the tip of the loop

– hypo-osmotic (to plasma) when it leaves the loop
Word origin: G. hypo: under, below + osmotic: relating to osmosis.

Related forms: hyperosmotically (adverb), hyperosmosis (noun).

Related phrases: hyperosmotic solution.
Compare: hypoosmotic, isoosmotic.

See also: tonicity, osmosis, osmotic pressure, diffusion, plasma membrane.

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